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Scholarship of Discovery


For decades, there has been a stigma attached to those with Down syndrome and their families. Society has seen individuals with Down syndrome as people who are incapable of contributing to society, imposing a lifelong burden on their families. Though this mentality has changed in the last forty years, it has not been completely eradicated. Thus, this research seeks to bring awareness and understanding through the writing of children’s literature about Down syndrome. First, a basic understanding of Down syndrome was necessary, followed by consideration of the components of well-written children’s literature. When it came to finer details, it was important to have a fuller knowledge of speech difficulties and stigmatization as they relate to individuals with Down syndrome. The research influenced the writing of a children’s book about a girl with Down syndrome, supporting the factual elements of the story. It was concluded that although there have been great strides in the last few decades for people with Down syndrome, there are still negative mindsets that lead to stereotyping. Changing these mindsets in children is especially important in order to influence future generations toward greater acceptance of all types of people; Children’s literature is one avenue to use as stimulus for change.


Honors Capstone Project completed in 2012 for Olivet Nazarene University.